Tuesday, January 8, 2013

First MTB Ride is in the Books

My first mountain bike ride at Dauset Trails, or otherwise, went off without a hitch on Sunday, January 6th.  The plan was to meet some friends at the Jackson, Georgia Nature Center at noon.  I had ridden with them previously on the road with Southern Crescent Cycling.  Dauset Trails was just a 30 mile drive south on I-75 from my home near Jonesboro.  I got there about 30 minutes early.
The sign on I-75 south near my exit
You're there when you see this sign on Mt. Vernon Church Road
The entrance to the parking lot with teeny-tiny signs on the trees
Mark and Brenda Herrington were already there and had ridden about 40 minutes before I arrived.  After me, Jason Darcy and Trey Hair arrived along with two other riders I hadn't met before, John and Joey.  We'd run into Neil Blalock, and Brett and Donna Broughton later on the trail.
John, Brenda, and Joey waiting for other riders
Our group of 6 riders head toward the trails
Jason looks on as Alec gets ready to go
A beautiful view of the trees surrounding the trails
John and Mark look on as I try to position the GoPro to shoot behind me
As everyone was getting ready I setup the GoPro Hero3 camera on my helmet.  I took what I thought would be about 18 minutes of video but which actually turned out to be just 5 still images.  Poorly staged images at that!  That's a slight fail on camera setup and a big disappointment.  I had obviously somehow changed the setup from video mode to still picture mode.  I did get a few pictures with my trusty Nikon before we started our ride.

After some thought about using the GoPro and my failed/planned video recording I decided to do a little ciphering   At full HD on the GoPro which is 1920 x 1440 each image is about 7MB.  Forty-eight (48) frames-per-second (fps) of video would create a file size of approximately 336MB per second.  At that rate, one (1) 16GB memory card would fill up in about forty-seven (47) seconds.  That can't be right, either way I think I'll choose a lesser image resolution and a slower fps rate for my next attempt.  I was hoping to get about five (5) minutes of raw video to edit but it was not to be.

Update (1/13/13):  My ciphering was wrong I shot four video segments the following weekend.  With the camera settings still on the default 1920 x 1440 resolution.  Segment #1 file size was 1.37GB for a 6:33 length video.  Segment #2 was 3.66GB for 17:25 of video.  That seems to equate to about 218MB per minute when converted to MP4 format. The same file is about 2.33GB per minute in the .avi file formate as recorded.  I have no idea how that's possible.  My computer says the 17:25 long .avi file is 47.5GB.  I only had a 16GB microSD card.  The GoPro learning curve must be steep and treacherous.
Mark, John, Trey, Brenda, and Jason
Even though the ride was not well documented it went well from my perspective.  I had plenty of energy and power to muscle up the hills.  It was only when I had to navigate between trees and over roots and rocks that I felt concern.  I popped out of my pedals once to traverse the Rock Garden at Sandy Creek and used back brake and one foot to hop down a steep leaf covered decline.  Not bad overall I'd say!
Our course took us all over the trails.  I'm not familiar with the names of each section although I did remember the entrance to Indian Springs State park as we rode past.  The park was the venue for a Tri The Parks sprint triathlon I had done in 2012.

I have to say that my legs had not burned like they did on Sunday in quite a while.  Therefore, I'm optimistic that this type of interval training will improve my power and speed on the road bike.  I'm looking to improve my bike speed at Ironman Florida 2013 by around 20 minutes.  Mountain biking should help.

One last thing.  I have to ask myself, what was I thinking when I thought I'd be riding my MTB bike at night?  It's hard enough staying on the trail in full daylight I don't know what I'd do in almost total darkness.

One more thing.  My Bontrager RXL MTB shoes fix most excellently!  I put them on, cinched'em up, and didn't even notice that they were there until I took them off two hours later.

Thanks for reading.